April 16, 2024

Former WWE employee Janel Grant is suing Vince McMahon for sex trafficking and assault. Grant states she was the hush money employee in the 2022 investigation of McMahon.

Also named in the suit were WWE and former executive and wrestler John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis, known as Johnny Ace in the wrestling world, was accused of sexual assault. The company is accused of covering the crimes in a false investigation.

Grant revealed she signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2022 that agreed to pay her $3 million not to provide details of her dealings with McMahon. After $1 million, McMahon stopped making payments and now the suit is to obtain financial damages.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, McMahon pressured Grant into sexual acts to advance her role in the company. McMahon met Grant in their condo building after the latter parents had died. McMahon lived in the penthouse. McMahon created the “administrator-coordinator” position, which became the ire of other employees as she had a low level of work while others had “overflowing inboxes.”

McMahon is accused of using sex toys with Grant that he named after wrestlers that led to bruising and bleeding. He also passed nude pictures of Grant across the production team. In addition, Grant stated she was locked in a room by McMahon and another executive who took turns sexually assaulting her. Naming Laurinaitis, Grant stated he and McMahon restrained her and told her, “No means yes” and “Take it, bitch.” McMahon also locked her in his locker room and forced himself on her at a massage table.

McMahon also allegedly used nude images of Grant in contract negotiations with Brock Lesnar. Lesnar reportedly told Vince he liked the images, and Vince told Grant, “Part of the deal was f—ing U.” After an exchange of phone numbers, Lesnar allegedly asked Grant to send a video of herself urinating.

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The arrangement was supposed to end once Vince’s wife, Linda McMahon, found out. Instead, after enacting the NDA, McMahon forced oral sex on Grant and then attempted to traffic her to a WWE Star in March 2022.

McMahon temporarily stepped down in the summer of 2022, returning to orchestrate a sale of the company to Endeavor, merging with UFC to become TKO Group Holdings. McMahon currently serves as an executive and member of the Board of Directors.

TKO Group Holdings released a statement to Variety:

“Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE. While this matter predates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.”

A spokesperson for McMahon shared a statement to Deadline:

“This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself.”

Grant’s lawyer, Ann Callis, also served a response:

“Today’s complaint seeks to hold accountable two WWE executives who sexually assaulted and trafficked Plaintiff Janel Grant, as well as the organization that facilitated or turned a blind eye to the abuse and then swept it under the rug. She is an incredibly private and courageous person who has suffered deeply at the hands of Mr. McMahon and Mr. Laurinaitis. Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will prevent other women from being victimized. The organization is well aware of Mr. McMahon’s history of depraved behavior, and it’s time that they take responsibility for the misconduct of its leadership.”

In July 2023, Vince McMahon was served a federal grand jury subpoena as law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on his home.

According to ESPN, McMahon was on medical leave following a major spinal surgery. No charges have been brought against McMahon.

The wrestling giant states the company received legal demands for documents regarding the investigation.

“WWE has cooperated throughout and fully understands and respects the government’s need for a complete process,” the company said in a statement.

According to Cageside Seats, a special committee of members of the company’s Board of Directors conducted an internal investigation into a hush-money scandal with McMahon. In their second quarter 2023 financial earnings reveal, WWE announced expenses related to the investigation cost a combined $12.4 million.

McMahon released a statement to CNBC:

“In 2022, WWE formed a special committee to review allegations of misconduct against me. That review was concluded in November 2022 following an extensive investigation. Throughout this experience, I have always denied any intentional wrongdoing and continue to do so. I am confident that the government’s investigation will be resolved without any findings of wrongdoing. I am focused on completing the recovery process from my recent spinal surgery and on closing our transaction with Endeavor, which will create one of the preeminent global sports and entertainment brands.”

The post Vince McMahon, WWE & More Release Statements After McMahon Sued for Sex Trafficking first appeared on The Source.

The post Vince McMahon, WWE & More Release Statements After McMahon Sued for Sex Trafficking appeared first on The Source.

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